Paris - Novak Djokovic brushed off rumours he is resorting
to spiritual guidance as he tries to keep hold of his number one ranking from
the fast-charging Andy Murray.
Djokovic cruised into the last 16 of the Paris Masters on
Wednesday, beating Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-3, 6-4, but has suffered a
worrying loss of form since completing a career Grand Slam at the French Open
The Serb said Murray's assault on his top ranking has
"rejuvenated" him after a series of shock defeats, but the presence
of Pepe Imaz in his players' box hasn't gone unnoticed.
While Djokovic travelled to Paris without Boris Becker and
Marian Vajda for support this week, Spanish journeyman Imaz was courtside for
Wednesday's second-round match.
Imaz, once ranked in the world's top 200, runs a tennis
academy in Marbella that styles itself on prioritising a "person's
well-being, feelings and emotions".
Djokovic features in a video entitled "Love and
Peace" (Amor & Paz) on Imaz's website, but the Serb rejected claims
the Spaniard serves as his "meditation guru".
"I don't know where you heard that he's a guru, first
of all," said a smiling Djokovic.
"And second of all, he's been part of my team for
several years. He worked with my brother (Marko) as well," he added, with
Imaz reportedly helping out the younger Djokovic when his career fizzled out a
couple years ago.
"He's been in tennis for all his life. I'm just glad
that he came this week, together with my brother, to be with me and work with
"I'm not going to go into details, because there is no
"I mean, to me, it's all funny and it's all, in the end
of the day, people can say and judge and do whatever they want, so I'm not
gonna give any room for speculations anymore.
"He's been there, and he's part of the coaching team
and that's all."